DARTS expert expert Kyle Brown (@Kyleianbrown) talks us through the 15th and final week of regular season Premier League action, picking out his favourite fancies.
Week 15 – Thursday 16th May 2019 | Leeds | Sky Sports
- Gerwyn Price (13/10 William Hill) v Peter Wright (6/4 Betfair)
- Daryl Gurney (7/5 Betfair) v Michael Smith (3/2 Sky Bet)
- Michael van Gerwen (3/10 William Hill) v Mensur Suljovic (7/1 Sky Bet)
- James Wade (2/1 Betway) v Rob Cross (1/1 Coral)
*Predicted winners in bold, neither indicates draw.
The Week 15 Betting Angles
The regular season concludes this week in Leeds with six of the eight players having something to play for. Rob Cross can cement his place at the top of the Premier League and end Michael van Gerwen’s six-year league phase dominance should he equal (or better) the Dutchman’s result.
James Wade, Daryl Gurney, Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price can all finish anywhere from third to sixth, so each match will have some sort of play-off implication.
Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright | Thursday 16th May 2019, 19:15 | Sky Sports
Only a win for Gerwyn Price will give him any hope of appearing in the final four at the 02 Arena, London, next week. In my opinion, he is a massive price at 13/10 (William Hill) to defeat Peter “Snakebite” Wright, considering that the Scotsman has nothing meaningful left to play for.
Scoring-wise they actually match up relatively similar. Wright’s 3-dart average of 95.51 is just shy of Price’ 96.00. In addition, they both have a virtually identical checkout percentage (42.52% – 42.44). However, Wright has only managed to convert those stats into a pathetic two wins out of a possible 15, with a -27 leg difference (with Price on +1).
Price really couldn’t have asked for a better opponent to face this week with the pressure on. There is a reason he is called “The Iceman”, and with all eyes on him during the opener he shouldn’t disappoint.
Given the stats, I’d steer clear of any 180 or checkout markets, but if there’s going to be a winner it will be the Welshman, Price at an appealling 13/10 (William Hill).
Daryl Gurney v Michael Smith | Thursday 16th May 2019, 20:15 | Sky Sports
Regardless of the opening tie’s result, Daryl Gurney will also be in the same position as Price, where he will most likely need a win to give himself a realistic chance of making the finals. Again, drawing similarities from the opener, Gurney will be grateful that he is facing the only other opponent with nothing to play for, Michael Smith.
Smith has been sub-par for the entirety of this campaign, disappointing just about everybody given that he was the bookies choice as the most likely to topple reigning champion Michael van Gerwen.
The biggest discrepancy between the two players facing off this week is without a doubt their ability to finish a leg. Gurney hits the double 40.09% of the time, compared to the 35.85% (the worst in the league) posted by Smith. That figure is the biggest factor in Smith’s downfall this year, and until he can rectify it he will continue to struggle.
Gurney therefore looks good value to hit the highest checkout in the match, priced at 4/5 on Sky Bet. And just like the first tie, I’m happy to recommend backing the player who has the most to lose and the most to gain, Gurney – 7/5 on Betfair.
Michael Van Gerwen v Mensur Suljovic | Thursday 16th May 2019, 21:15 | Sky Sports
Michael van Gerwen will not like sitting in second. He is a fierce competitor who has done nothing short of dominate the darting world in the past few years. He is the only player odds on with bookmakers, up against Mensur Suljovic, who will likely be needing maximum points if either Price or Gurney win their respective matches.
In short, Suljovic could play the game of his life and I would still expect him to succumb to the reigning world champion. It is exactly this sort of game which sees MvG raise his game to its absolute best.
Suljovic posts the second worst average (95.74) of the remaining eight players, and only the aforementioned Smith is worse on the doubles than the Austrian is (39.73%). It’s therefor perhaps fortunate that finishing in the top four is still a possibility.
Van Gerwen, priced at 3/10 with William Hill, will be a good addition to an accumulator, but the value lies elsewhere.
Suljovic and Van Gerwen are the two lowest 180 scorers this year, only hitting 39 and 38, respectively (around 2.60 per-game). With that in mind, I fancy Under 6.5 Match 180’s to land, priced at 4/5 on Bet365.
James Wade v Rob Cross | Thursday 16th May 2019, 22:15 | Sky Sports
The night rounds off with James Wade against Rob Cross. If the night goes the way of the bookmaker favourites (Price, Gurney and MvG) then Wade will be guaranteed a top four spot based on leg difference – he only needs to get a result if 7/1 shot Suljovic upsets van Gerwen.
Cross equalling (or bettering) MvG’s result will ensure he is the first player other than Van Gerwen to win the league phase since 2012.
Regardless of the nights earlier ties, I expect Rob Cross will want to continue his momentum going into the final and put on a show, proving why he is a worthy league winner.
Cross at even-money (Coral) is extremely tempting, and the only situation I’d suggest avoiding that price is if Wade needs a point to qualify (that scenario also means Cross has the top spot locked up).
Cross has the second-most 180’s (51), the second-highest average (100.18), the second-most legs won against throw (37) and the tied-second highest checkout percent (45.50%). But don’t be fooled, he would be more than worthy of finishing in 1st place.
From a betting standpoint, it’s worth noting that he beats Wade in all the aforementioned stats. Wade has been good this term, but Cross has simply been better.
I like Cross’ value to win, and also expect him to win well so take the -2.5 leg handicap that is available at 7/4 on Sky Bet.
Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright – Gerwyn Price to win (13/10 William Hill)
Daryl Gurney v Michael Smith – Daryl Gurney highest checkout (4/5 Sky Bet)
Michael van Gerwen v Mensur Suljovic – Under 6.5 180’s (4/5 Bet365)
James Wade v Rob Cross – Rob Cross -2.5 (7/4 Sky Bet)